Matang’s Z-plus security cover unwarranted, says home ministry

  • Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Feb 07, 2015 23:42 IST

Former Union minister Matang Sinh never faced threats that warranted the highest category of Z-plus security to him, home ministry sources told HT.

Under the Z-plus cover, Sinh, who was arrested by the CBI a week back in connection with its probe into the Saradha chit-fund scam in Kolkata, was guarded round the clock by over a 100 Central Reserve Police personnel.

Anil Goswami was sacked by the government as Union home secretary on the charges of trying to stall Sinh’s arrest by calling CBI director Anil Sinha.

“Sinh enjoyed security covers under varied categories from 1993 onwards. He never faced any serious threat to life but somehow an intelligence assessment of his threat perception some six years ago altered the position. Suddenly it was assessed that he faced threats from Ulfa and other North-Eastern insurgent groups but the assessment was not supported by credible intelligence input,” said a home ministry official requesting anonymity.

After that his security cover kept on being enhanced, the official added.

According to home ministry sources, Sinh first got Z category security cover (around 40 guards from Assam police) in Assam and other Northeastern states while for the rest of the country he had Y cover (around 20 guards).

In 2012, his security was entrusted to the CRPF and the Z category cover was extended to Maoist-affected states as well.

“Afterwards, he was included in the highest Z-plus category, with guards from the CRPF, and it was enhanced to all over the country. After the NDA came to power, the list of around 250 central protectees was reviewed. The home ministry committee entrusted with the review recommended downgrading Sinh but the file didn’t move beyond then home secretary Anil Goswami’s desk,” added the official.

All other recommendations of the review committee were accepted but Sinh’s name was mysteriously dropped from the file that went to home minister Rajnath Singh, revealed the official.

Sinh may be in jail but his CRPF guards are still waiting outside. “According to rules he will get Z-plus security behind bars by the jail administration. When he comes out, and if the home ministry doesn’t withdraw his security by then, the CRPF guards will again take over his security,” explained a CRPF official.

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